If you’re an animator working for a small animation team, we may have wished at one point that you had the tools and the technology that would normally be available to any number of big animation studios at your disposal. Luckily for you, a team of industry animators is coming together to give you just that.
Courtesy of Cartoon Brew, three former DreamWorks animators have come together to form the Nimble Collective, a company that aims to create a first-of its-kind cloud-based platform and community, designed to give small animation teams a seamless, integrated pipeline for production.
The founders in question are animators Rex Grignon, Scott LaFleur, and Jason Schleifer, along with tech industry executive and entrepreneur Michael Howse.
The goal of Nimble is to simply make it easy for artists and animators to create, collaborate, and distribute their work. “There are a lot of costs involved in making animation,” Grignon told Cartoon Brew, “We just want to make it very easy for artists to start creating and start collaborating.”
He elaborated on that goal even further, stating: “I’ve worked on big productions that have made hundreds of millions of dollars, and while I’ve got a very nice salary in my career, the artists working on those films really don’t benefit proportionally to the success of what they create.”
So exactly what can Nimble allow you to do? Well, so long as you have a user’s license, the platform gives you direct access to the best professional software tools available. Even better, it does so in “a single, integrated and intuitive interface within a secure cloud environment.” Low-latency streaming technology also makes it easy to use Photoshop and Maya within the cloud, all with complete responsiveness. Even the process of rendering animation takes place entirely in the cloud.
“You don’t require a high performance workstation; you don’t require all the networking and collaboration technology,” said Howse. “We’re providing all of that as part of a personal facility that resides in the cloud.”
The platform is also designed to allow the project to pass smoothly through the stages of the overall pipeline. When done, the platform also allows easy access to revenue-generating online channels for distribution of your work.
For those wondering about the price, a subscription will cost anywhere from $60-$100 dollars a month per user license. A free version will be made available for limited use.
For Grignon (who serves as the president and chief creative officer), the hope is that Nimble will allow animators to bypass the hardware and software costs that come with trying to produce top-quality animation (something that isn’t a problem for the big studios).
“DreamWorks and Pixar and Disney—we love them—but they’ve all invested millions in infrastructure and pipeline and the things that we’re talking about,” said Grignon. “We’d love to help people get together and launch a studio tomorrow, for example, for the price of a subscription. I see so many amazing ideas that never end up getting made. I know personally from my very large circle of friends that there are a lot of frustrated animated filmmakers out there. And there’s a real demand for it.”
Nimble has already raised $1 million in ‘seed funding’, with additional funding rounds to come.
If you want to know how Nimble works, check out this recent demo (made entirely within the cloud):
For more information, visit their website here.
What do you think? Any thoughts on the article? If you’re a professional animator, would you use Nimble?
Edited by: Kelly Conley